By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – A man in his 20’s from Worcester County is the second person in Massachusetts to be diagnosed with the U.K. COVID-19 variant, the Department of Public Health confirmed Wednesday.

The U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7., spreads faster than other variants. It is thought to be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the original strain, but the CDC says there’s no evidence it’s more deadly.

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“It may infect more cells in someone’s nose or in someone’s mouth, and because it’s infecting more cells, more virus is produced,”  Dr. Richard Ellison of UMass Memorial Medical Center told WBZ-TV earlier this week.

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The first case of this variant in Massachusetts was reported Sunday, January 17. A woman from Boston in her 20’s traveled to the United Kingdom and felt sick the day after she returned. She had tested negative for COVID before leaving the UK.

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There are now at least 122 cases of the variant in the U.S., according to the CDC.

CBSBoston.com Staff